How do you know if a child has mild autism ?
My friend has a 5 yr old son who can say a few words then cuts of into bable. She doesn’t talk “baby talk” to him. When she wants to get his attention he avoids eye contact by rolling his eyes in every direction. When we took him to the fair certain noise would bother him and he would cover his ears. The noise didn’t even have to be high pitched or very loud. When she asked the doctor about his speech, he simply said it was a speech impediment that once he starts school he will get help for it. I’m not sure how to approach her about it either.
DON’T WAIT UNTIL HE STARTS SCHOOL!
Early intervention is key in cases of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Nonverbal Learning Disorder, and delayed speech.
Please ask her to take the following steps immediately:
Find a pediatrician that specializes in children with developmental disabilities.
Contact the school system for a complete evaluation (this is free, and could have been before the child trained 3!).
The school system will choose a team of professionals to evaluate the child, including, but not limited to a speech therapist, an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, a school adjustment counselor, a school psychologist, a teacher and an expert in special education. His parents will be part of the team, and they may bring any experts they so choose to the team meetings.
The child’s new pediatrician will submit a recommendation for the services the child needs. The child may require an independent evaluation by additional specialists (pediatric neurologist, etc. To develop a treatment plan.
Make sure that the team adopts the recommendations of his pediatrician and specialists in their entirety; appeal the team’s decision, if necessary.
The team will develop an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that specifies the services to be provided and the frequency of the provision, as well as the modifications that will be made to “regular” education to accommodate him.
His parents have the right to accept or reject the IEP, in whole or in part, and appeal same, in whole or in part. If they choose to appeal and another, independent evaluation is required, the school must pay for the evaluation.
The school system is required BY LAW to provide early intervention services beginning at age 3, so he will probably begin in a special program, immediately.
This is a very complex subject not easily dealt with in this forum, however the above is a start. DON’T WAIT!
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